The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.
The beginning and severity of periodontal disease depends on age, breed, diet and at-home care, with younger, small-breed dogs typically presenting with infection earlier than large-breed dogs. Abnormal signs and symptoms of dental abnormalities include: pain, bad breath, excessive drooling, fractured or loose teeth, swelling or bleeding of the gums, tumors, sores or wounds.
While it is understandable that pet owners may be concerned about bad breath and unsightly tartar accumulation, regular dental care is more than cosmetic: Tartar and plaque, often invaded by bacteria, need to be removed to counteract subsequent infection, gingivitis or pyorrhea (infection of tissues surrounding the teeth), with 60% of disease occurring below the gum line.
After your pet's treatment, your team can discuss home dental care for your companion animal in order to understand how to maintain a disease-free oral cavity and to maximize his or her comfort and quality of life.